1) How does the Beach to Beacon fit into your running career?
Beach to Beacon really is the unofficial Maine championship race so I try to focus on it each year and perform well against the state's best runners. This year I had a great spring season and tried to use the fitness gained during that season to sustain me through this summer as I scaled back the workouts and mileage a bit and spent a little more time on other summer activities than I usually do. I found out Saturday that you really can't "fake fitness" as I fell well short of my goal time (30:30) and the top Mainer (Riley Masters). That said, I'm still happy that I walked away from the race with a top-5 finish and now I'm rested both mentally and physically for the fall marathon season.
2) What went through your mind as you raced?
I think pretty much everyone goes into a big race like that with a mile-by-mile game plan, and the first two miles of yesterday's race went according to my plan as I was on pace and in the pack of runners I wanted to be with. At that point, however, I realized the residual fatigue I had felt in my legs before the race was getting worse and I made a conscious decision to let the chase pack go. From then until the Fort I was alone on the course and I had to be careful not to let self-doubt creep in. I knew I wasn't going to have the day I wanted but I could still grind so I kept that mindset until the Fort. At that point I was caught by the lead female, Henry Sterling and Spencer McElwain and my thoughts turned much more aggressive or "game mode" at that point, if you will. I had fleeting but welcome interruptions to my mental grind during the race from friends cheering me on along the course, but all in all it was a mental effort as much as it was a physical one, as every race is.
All in all, I'm glad I set the goal that I did, I'm glad I've had a lot of fun and taken some down time this summer, and I'm ready to start pounding the pavement with a bit greater frequency and intent.
|Taking the hard right turn up the hill as I enter the fort (thanks to Eric Cobb for the photo)|